the lost man chronicles
the daily chronicle

the slippery heel

the slide down the mountain of pride, is a slippery slope between vanity and envy.

i amused myself much this morning—when, after a good seven hours of sleep, my mind was rejuvenated enough to think clearly once again. it was then that i realized that this stress i'd been feeling lately was largely due to my burgeoning ego.

i've been caught in the vertigo of writer's vanity, and, subsequently, my serenity was a little warped, bent out of shape by merciless delusions of grandeur.

the sense of harmony and well-being (i.e. of being lost) which i work so hard at maintaining was being trampled upon by my fantasies—those little dreams of being a star in the universe of published authors. ah, yes, that elusive publication, that coveted holy-grail of public adulation which confirms that we are in fact made-to-write.

and so, as trite as it all is, some of us still try harder to persevere against the growing fears of failure abetted by both daunting circumstance and all the voices which, in tandem, berate "don't waste your time, it can't be done." foolishly in response, one's bold self not only revs up the effort, but also abets the delusion of these little dreams, whetting with momentum and the promise of dreamy impact. for as the hill becomes harder to climb, we are inclined to feel that our efforts magically, some how, have more meaning than they really do. we like to think, "since i succeeded under duress, i am blessed, and accept that inevitable success will remand my dues."

thus, the innumerable tiny visions of being a published, and of course, being a "best-selling" author, simultaneously encourage and impose strenuous pressure upon me. ultimately, it all sets the stage for my comic fall.

such fantasy has continually inspired many relished moments: walks upon red-carpet, my eyes pinged by blinks of blurry white flashes; long lines awaiting before me, fingers aching from record-breaking scrawls of signatures; choreographed stunts which have me crossing the thin-lines of multi-media; conglomerate sponsoring world tours with cowgirls and malcolm mclaren; late-nite interviews with bug-eyed hosts who want to run through the trials and tribulations of being on the celebrity circuit: cameos, commercials, endorsements, countless occasions of being pursued by papparzi—until i realize i am signing my life away; e-bay auctions of scraps of doodled paper i've left behind; libraries dedicated to archiving giant tomes of my epic work; insatiable fans sticking pens in my face; the horror of stalkers and con-artists and sales calls galore; having to move across borders to escape the attention, tolerating French woody-like affection; write-ups and articles and rumor-mill mentions; lots of smugly-smiling when "old" friends begin to call and cousins come knocking on the door; and the sudden splurge of neighbors who aren't so unneighborly anymore; oh, and the money! the haughty contract negotiations where each side wiles for more; the strained relations amidst the entourage, and the trinity: my editor, the agent and me; the european vacations, stacks of invitations, literary awards, medals and accolades; the pretentious self-serving university honors, which ultimately make me less honorable.

and that's the short-short, rather compromising summary of the ego-enhancing dreams of one wanna-be writer, many delusions which will likely end up being merely amusing.

thus, when the time came for me to work-out to j-lo's feelin so good this morning, i was feeling pretty good again, having unburdened the sickening load of this ambition after some long needed-introspection.

subsequently, the lyrics triggered thoughts of appreciation for all that i already have—the comfort, the lack of suffering, the love, my super powers, and the awareness of it all.

and of course, there is my blossoming writing talent…(and therein is where this vicious cycle of hubris begins again).

when i opened up my eyes today
felt the sun shining on my face
it became so clear to me that everything is goin my way
i feel like there’s no limit to what i can see
got rid of fears that were holding me
my endless possibilities
has the whole world opened up for me
that’s why i’m feeling...

i’m feeling so good
i knew i would
been taking care of myself
like i should
cause not one thing
can bring me down

~ feelin so good, jennifer lopez

epilogue: i was walking to the bus-stop this morning feelin' all-giddy-n-shit (that's a word you know), when suddenly i began to slide, and the six-feet of a death-defying ride it was, was fun. at least until, this downhill slope and the downward momentum of gravity teamed up to grab me, while off balance (this sounds too uncannily like love) and mercilessly pulled me down—and there, prostrate, a humiliated sacrifice to the gods of humility, i lie flat on my back.

i laughed, for the balloon had just been deflated, and right as my renewed optimism was blowing it up again, i fell and dispelled that giddy disposition once again.

and in the wake of my err, for a moment i foolishly thought, "shit, i'm okay, no big deal," until i felt the pain. oh, then, complementing the chilling rain, the somatic me started complaining—my body telling my brain with a sharp pang at my right elbow and a dull sprawl of discomfort across my lower back, "oh, don't be so proud and ignorant—because you're hurt."

i laughed once again (my favorite defense mechanism), as i suddenly realized why people gravitate to the tabloids.

success is clearly a blessed and cursed display of extraordinary ability amongst the masses. because in order for the average josephine to accordingly achieve above and beyond the mean, she must prove herself mother-superior to others. it takes some hubris to do that, a peck of self-confidence that is not necessarily a bad thing, but which is usually requisite for the proper motivation. without the gall one is not inspired to achieve the goal.

thus, when someone falls from the top, everyone tends to snicker for a moment. it's natural for us to laugh, for the occurrence is an uppity mixture of vanity and envy (someone's climbing, were watching, she falters, we proudly laugh).

and yes, if the person is not "alright" then most of us feel a touch of compassion, a guilty wince in light of her prospective suffering.

but in most cases, a graceful aspirant will usually just get back up and "rub it off." oh, they might feel it later, but these heroines realize that they are performing. and thus the folly, having an audience, must be wrenched back from them with the recomposing of oneself—seemingly without a moment for thought and a minim of detectable effort—thus, taking control of the picture again.

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